Archdiocese Directory

THE ARCHDIOCESE OF IMPHAL AT A GLANCE

Establishment : 21 April, 1980

Patron : St. Joseph

Area : 22, 327 sq. km.

Districts : 16

Total Population : 2.85 Million

Catholics : 98,046

Languages : Over 35

Main Langauges : (Anal, English, Hmar, Kharam, Kom, Mao, Manipuri, Maram, Maring, Mayon, Mizo,Monsang, Paite, Poumai, Rongmei,

Tangkhul, Thadou, Zou, etc.)

Major Religions : Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, etc.

Parishes : 45

Mission Centres : 7

Diocesan Priests : 107

Religious Priests : 53

Religious Sisters : 332

Touring Catechists : 56

Local Catechists : 451

Major Seminarians : 34 (D)

Minor Seminarians : 37 (D)

Formation Houses : 3

Convents : 70

Hospitals : 1

Dispensaries : 13

Rehabilitation Centres : 4

Grehini Centres : 2

Students’ Hostels : 47 for boys; 49 for girls

Colleges : 3

Hr. Sec. Schools : 12

High Schools : 43

Junior Schools : 14

Students in Catholic Schools: 65,729 (approximately)

Technical School : 1

Diocesan Bi-monthly : Catholic Manipur

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Archdiocese of Imphal covers the entire State of Manipur, which is bounded by Nagaland in the North, Mizoram in the South, Upper Myanmar in the East and Cachar district of Assam in the West. To get a better view of the Church, it is important to have an idea of the political history of Manipur.

Political History

Earlier, Manipur was a princely kingdom under the King (Ningthou or Maharaja) of Manipur. It came under the British rule in 1891. The Manipur Constitution Act, 1947, established a democratic form of government with the Maharaja as the Executive Head and a legislative Assembly constituted by election on adult franchise. The Legislative Assembly was dissolved at the integration of the State with the Dominion of India in October, 1949.

Then it was governed as though it were a Chief Commissioner’s Province and then as a Part “C” State under the Indian Constitution with effect from 26th January 1950. In 1951 an advisory form of popular government was introduced and in 1957 this was replaced by a Territorial Council of 30 elected and 2 nominated members. In 1963, a legislative assembly of 30 elected and 3 nominated members was established. The status of the Administrator was raised from that of a Chief Commissioner to that of a Lieutenant Governor in December, 1969. Thus, Manipur remained a Union Territory from 1956 and became a Full-fledged State in 1972. Manipuri was recognized as a national language in 1992.

Church History

The American Baptists began a successful mission in Manipur in 1908 among the hill tribes of Manipur but the missionaries had no permission from the Maharaj of Manipur to work among the Meiteis. One of the outstanding pioneer missionaries was William Pettigrew. The first Catholic Missionary, Rev.Fr.Angsgar Koenigsbaver, SDS, a German Salvatorian missionary looking after Assam Mission, came to Manipur in the year 1912. He found 19 Catholics, 17 of whom belonging to the band of the regiment which was stationed here. The Maharaja of Manipur told Fr. Angsgar that he had no objection to the opening of a Catholic Mission in Imphal, the capital of the princely State. However, due to limited resources and personnel the opportunity to evangelize Manipur could not be realized.

Thirty six years later, two Salesian missionaries, Fr.O.Marengo, SDB, and Fr.Attilio Colussi, SDB, who were working in Guwahati, Assam, visited Imphal in 1948. On meeting the Maharaja they were told: “You (missionaries) are welcome to Manipur. I am a former pupil of St.Edmund’s School, Shillong.” He then gave them permission to enter Manipur and operate their mission in the hills of Manipur. This implied that they were not to work in the Valley, which had been dominated by the Hindu Vaishnavites and some pockets of Muslims. The Missionaries visited Ukhrul, a hill station in the east, on that occasion.

The organised work of evangelization in Maniur actually began with the erection of the Diocese of Dibrugarh in 1951, with Bishop O.Marengo, SDB as its first Bishop. As Manipur was drawn within his ecclesiastical jurisdiction, every year Bishop Marengo visited Manipur and pushed the work ahead with the co-operation of the burning zeal of the laity.

The first Catholic community in Manipur was pioneered by Mr.Dominic Shomi, a former pupil of St.Anthony’s School, Shillong, and Mr.George Hongrei, a former student of Don Bosco School, Guwahati. In 1952, Fr.Marocchino, chaplain of the Kohima Hospital, was invited to Hungpung, a village near Ukhrul. Mr.Shomi had prepared 350 persons ready to embrace the faith. Fr.Marocchino gave them more instructions and received them into the Church on 11th February 1952.

Bishop Orestes Marengo, SDB, then appointed Rev.Fr.A.Ravalico, SDB as Father in charge of Manipur Mission. In April 1953, Fr.A.Ravalico baptised these 350 Thangkhul Nagas from Hungpung village who had been already received into the Catholic Church as catechumens on 11th February 1952 by Fr.Marocchino, SDB, as mentioned above.

A small plot of land with a house building near M.G.Avenue, Imphal, which belonged to a Bengalee, Mr.Pallit by name, then S.P. of Imphal, was purchased by Rev.Fr.Ravalico on 11th February 1956. He then christened the house as ‘NIRMALABAS’ (House of the Immaculate) changing its earlier name ‘Pallit Bhavan’.

The best way to promote the work of evangelization, as Bishop Marengo saw it, was to have ‘resident Priests’ in the area. Now that the residential house, Nirmalabas, was being renovated and getting ready, Bishop Marengo sent Rev.Fr. Ravalico, SDB, and Rev.Fr.Peter Bianchi, SDB, as the very first resident Priests who reached Imphal on 6th March 1956. Initially they had to stay in a rented house in Imphal for about two months.

The official starting of the ‘Immaculate Mission Centre’, Manipur, was on 9th May 1956 when Bishop O’Marengo, SDB blessed and inaugurated ‘Nirmalabas’ and dedicated it as the first Catholic Mission Centre in the State, in the presence of over 300 Catholics from all over Manipur Mission. Rev.Fr.Ravalico together with Rev.Fr.Peter Bianchi stayed in this house from that day on and continued the Mission work in Manipur. Later in the year 1957, Rev.Fr.Felix, SDB, and Rev.Fr. George Venturoli, SDB, joined them in their new ministry in Manipur. And thus the Church in Manipur began to take its roots gradually but firmly.

The vastness of the Lord’s vineyard demanded more workers to the harvest. In 1958, Rev.Fr.Joseph Kachiramattam, the first diocesan priest to step into Manipur soil, arrived in Imphal and joined the community of the Salesian missionaries. Later, two other diocesan priests, Rev. Fr.Mathew Planthottam and Rev.Fr. Mani Parenkulangara reached Manipur in 1959 and 1961 respectively. Since then more priests and religious have strengthened the promotion of the evangelization work in Manipur. Among the pioneering Women Religious Congregations, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) was the first to arrive in 1958. They were followed by the Congregation of Mother of Carmel (CMC), Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) and Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (SABS) in 1966.

The Diocese of Kohima-imphal which included the two states of Nagaland and Manipur was erected on 29th January 1973 by Pope Paul VI, with Rt.Rev.Abraham Alangimattathil, SDB, as its first Bishop.

Bifurcating the Diocese of Kohima-imphal, the Diocese of Imphal comprising the entire State of Manipur, was erected by Pope John Paul II on 21st April 1980, with Rt.Rev.Joseph Mittathany, the then Bishop of Tezpur, as its first Bishop. Later, on 1st August 1995, His Holiness, John Paul II, raised the Diocese to the status of an Archdiocese with Most Rev.Joseph Mittathany as the Archbishop.

The Holy Father appointed Very Rev.Fr.Dominic Lumon Coadjutor Archbishop elect of Imphal on January 18, 2002 and he was ordained as such by Most Rev.Joseph Mittathany on April 7, 2002.

The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Most Rev.Joseph Mittathany as the Archbisop of Imphal at the completion of 75 years of age, and by virtue of ‘Coadjutorship’ Most Rev.Dominic Lumon took over as the Archbishop of Imphal on 12th July 2006.

OFFICIALS

Vicar General : Rev. Fr. John Kashiiprii

Episcopal Vicar : Rev. Fr. Peter Haokip

Chancellor : Rev. Fr. Solomon Thezii

Financial Administrator : Rev. Fr. Dominic Kanmi

Secretary : Rev. Fr. Titus Zimik

IMPHAL METROPOLITAN TRIBUNAL

Judicial Vicar : Rev. Fr. Joy Vellattukara DCL

Defender of the Bond : Rev. Fr. Sijo Ozhalakattu

Diocesan Judges : Rev. Fr. Linus Neli DCL

: Rev. Fr. Sebastian Chelat

Notary : Rev. Fr. Titus Zimik

ARCHDIOCESAN CONSULTORS

Rev. Fr. John Kashiiprii

Rev. Fr. Peter Haokip

Rev. Fr. Solomon Thezii

Rev. Fr. Dominic Kanmi

Rev. Fr. Joy Vellattukara

Rev. Fr. Linus Neli

Rev. Fr. Sibi Alexander

Rev. Fr. P.X. Francis SDB

Rev. Fr. Joseph Dale

Rev. Fr. Devassy Pudessery

Rev. Fr. George Malayil

Rev. Fr. Stephen Touthang

COUNCILS

ARCHDIOCESAN PRESBYTERAL COUNCIL

Most Rev. Dominic Lumon

Ex-officio:

Rev. Fr. John Kashiiprii

Rev. Fr. Solomon Thezii

Rev. Fr. Dominic Kanmi

Rev. Fr. Joy Vellattukara

Rev. Fr. Joy Kurian

Rev. Fr. Sibi Alexander

District Representatives

Rev. Fr. Michael Kochuparambil (Ukhrul)

Rev. Fr. Dominic Athishu (Senapati)

Rev. Fr. Jacob Pamei (Tamenglong)

Rev. Fr. Stephen Baite (Churachandpur)

Rev. Fr. Aloysius Seiba (Chandel)

Rev. Fr. Isaac Honsan (Valley Districts)

Religious Representatives:

Rev. Fr. Francis PX SDB (Salesians)

Rev. Fr. Simon Theko MSFS (MSFS)

Rev. Fr. Cyprian (S.J., C.M, OFM Caps)

Assistant Priests Representatives:

Rev. Fr. Ephrem

Rev. Fr. Francis Manah

Representatives of Commissions:

Rev. Fr. Peter Haokip (Laity, Ecumenism & Dialogue)

Rev. Fr. Jacob Chapao (AMCO)

Rev. Fr. Victor Arulappan (Education)

Rev. Fr. Anthony Avince (Health & Social Welfare)

Rev. Fr. Jacob Chapao (Youth)

Rev. Fr. John Kashiiprii (Clergy Welfare)

Rev. Fr. Isaac Honsan (Liturgy & Catechetics)

Rev. Fr. Joseph Dale (Evangelization)

Nominated Members:

Rev. Fr. Joseph Charakunnath

Rev. Fr. Linus Neli

FINANCE COMMITTEE

President : Most Rev. Dominic Lumon

Vice President : Rev. Fr. John Kashiiprii

Economer : Rev. Fr. Dominic Kanmi

Members : Rev. Fr. Joy Kurian

: Rev. Fr. Linus Neli

: Rev. Fr. Regi George

: Rev. Fr. Robert Somi

CENSORS

Rev. Fr. Joy Vellattukara DCL

Rev. Fr. Linus Neli DCL

COMMISSIONS

1. Catechetics and Liturgy

Director : Rev. Fr. Isaac Honsan

2. Bible

Director : Rev. Fr. Regi George

3. Evangelization

Director : Rev. Fr. Joseph Dale

4. Clergy & Formation Commission

Director : Rev. Fr. John Kashiiprii

5. Education

Director : Rev. Fr. Victor Arulappan

6. Laity

Director : Rev. Fr. John Kashiiprii

7. Youth

Director : Rev. Fr. Jacob Chapao

8. Women

: Rev. Sr. Lissy

9. Communication & Media

Director : Rev. Fr. Mark Thangkhan Ai

10. Diocesan Vocation

11. Small Christian Community (SCC)

Director : Rev. Fr. Joseph Dale

12. Family Apostalate

Director : Rev. Fr. Joy Vellattukara

13. Health Apostalate

Director : Rev. Fr. Lijo Ennamplasseril

14. Art & Culture

Director : Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Kholi

15. Social Work, Peace & Justice

Director : Rev. Fr. Anthony Avince

16. Ecumenism & Dialogue

Director : Rev. Fr. Peter Haokip

17. Labour (CBCI) & Domestic Workers Movement

Director : Rev. Sr. Jacinta Shangrang MSMHC

OFFICE BEARERS

1. DIOCESAN FRATERNITY (CLERGY)

President : Rev. Fr. James Tangshel

Secretary : Rev. Fr. Francis Nganingmi

Treasurer : Rev. Fr. Thomas Parampil

2. AMCU (All Manipur Catholic Union)

President: Mr. Aloysius Zangkhosei Mate

Secretary: Dr. C. Mathew Kamei

3. CRI (Catholic Religious of India)

President: Rev. Fr. PX Francis SDB

Secretary: Rev. Sr. Annie Porunnolil FCC

4. APC (Archdiocesan Pastoral Council)

President: Most Rev. Dominic Lumon D.D.

Vice President: Mr. Jacob Lhungdim

General Secretary: Robert Monshang

5. MCWO (Manipur Catholic Women Organization)

President: Mrs. TS. Shelvi Monsang

General Secretary: Mrs. Josephine

6. MCYO (Manipur Catholic Youth Organization)

President: Mr. Amos Gaithourai Kamei

Vice President: Mr. Trole Rai

General Secretary: Mr. Francis Talung Maram

7. Parish Establishment Committee

Rev. Fr. Dominic Kanmi (Economer)

Rev. Fr. Sebastian Chelat

Rev. Fr. John Kashiiprii

Rev. Fr. KD Joy

8. Consultant

Mr. Christopher Indubhusan

9. Legal Advisor

Mr. Athokpam Inder Kumar

10. CMP (Catholic Manipur Publication)

Chief Editor: Rev. Fr. Solomon Thezii

Address : C/o Archbishop’s House

Mantripukhri, Imphal - 795 002

Manipur